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Shannon Musfelt toted the Dove chocolate wrappers everywhere, rolling them into 5,000 petite balls.

She rolled waiting for the doctor. She rolled waiting for rice to boil. It was all part of her goal, her triumph over those colorful foil wrappers with the inspirational messages. She was determined to turn them into a full-length gown worthy of a runway. Or, rather, a "yumway."

Musfelt, 43, will show her creation in the Cocoa Couture Fashion Show Saturday at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. The fashion show, featuring 18 avant-garde designs made of candy wrappers, kicks off MOSI's Festival of Chocolate this weekend, with local chocolatiers, renowned pastry chefs, demonstrations, classes and showpieces.

Musfelt, who lives in St. Petersburg and works for a fashion designer while on break from the International Academy of Design and Technology, made a dress out of Dove wrappers at last year's show. The foils were scalloped like fish scales, and while the conception was on-point, the execution was more precarious. Those things are delicate.

This year, Musfelt vowed revenge on the Dove wrapper. She spent three months on her gown, titled "Dream in Chocolate" and inspired by Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. She bought $4 bags, always looking for BOGO deals at Publix. She used milk chocolate (blue wrappers), peanut butter (orange) and caramel (yellow). Halfway through, she said, Dove changed the shade of the orange. She went with it, calling it unexpected shading. The result is a masterwork of foil beading.

"It's probably like being proud of a child," she said. "It's your creation walking in front of you. It comes to life for you. It's a proud moment and it's kind of touching."

Fortunately, Musfelt also really loves chocolate. We caught up with her to dish on candy favorites.

Favorite chocolate as a kid?

Snickers bar.

Favorite chocolate now?

Snickers bar.

If you're skipping lunch and going for a chocolate bar?

King size Snickers bar!

Best chocolate cereal?

Cocoa Puffs.

Because it turns the milk chocolate, too, right?


When you reach into the Halloween pumpkin head of candy, what do you grab first?

I'm usually going for the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Chocolate in savory food, yea or nay?

Yea! A little bit of chocolate in spaghetti is awesome.

Best chocolate dish you ever made?

It's like a chocolate mousse pie. It's really easy. You mix Cool Whip with pudding.

Most underrated chocolate?

You know, I would say a Chunky Bar, because, I mean, people sometimes don't like fruit with their chocolate and it has raisins. But I really like it.

Would you rather eat a bag of chocolate chips or a chocolate Easter bunny?

It's embarrassing to say, but I like munching the head off the chocolate bunny.

Best drink to pair with chocolate?

I have this amazing thing. It's called chocolate whipped vodka, and you just mix it with some cream.

Have you ever lost a piece of chocolate in your purse and found it later smeared all over everything?

No, but I have found one in the dryer, which was worse.

Give up one: Shoes or chocolate?

Oh my gosh. Wow, that is super tough. Oh. I couldn't give up either! I would hold onto them both. I couldn't.

What did you do all with all the Doves you unwrapped for the dress?

I did make some Christmas candy with it and gave it out and brought it to parties. Most of it is still sitting in Tupperware containers on my counter. I eat some and I gain weight, and then I have to go on a diet, so I'm on a diet right now and I'm not eating it. But I can't wait to get back.

Calling all chocoholics

The Festival of Chocolate runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 East Fowler Ave, Tampa. The event includes demonstrations by world class pastry chefs, competitions, chocolate and wine pairings, workshops and more. The Cocoa Couture Fashion show is at 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets to the festival are $17.95 to $21.95 per day. Visit

Wrap yourself 01/16/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:49am]
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